September 25, 2023

A model for a more meaningful career path

Looking back on your career path, can you see an inflection point? A moment when your professional journey shifted, and it would never be the same?

I had a moment like that. It was around the middle of my career, and I was climbing the leadership ladder of academic medicine. I’d held some positions with increasing influence, and I had plenty of ambition to keep climbing. I’d done all the right things to continue my upward momentum.

However, my personal life was filling up as well. My family was taking shape, and my priorities were evolving. Just as I was coming to terms with the fact that my career decisions were not just about me, a health crisis forced me to acknowledge how very much my career was taking out of me.

My inability to rectify increasingly dissonant personal priorities and professional circumstances was overwhelming – but not surprising. Like many people, I didn’t have a model for making career decisions through any lens other than chasing the next promotion, the next title, the next line on my CV. I didn’t know I could stop serving my career and start making my career serve me.

I didn’t know I had a choice.

A more intentional career path

Fortunately, I did have a choice. The Professional Careers by Design (TM) model is all about embracing that choice, by building a habit of self-reflection that enables decision-making rooted in what matters most to you.

There’s a lot to it, but you can do the most important piece right here and now. Ask yourself: What is most important to you right now, in this season of your life? The answer allows you to bring focus and clarity to every decision you make.

If what matters most to you is spending time with your family, that tells you a lot about the kind of job you want – and the kind of job you don’t want. It is a lens for examining the type of organization you want to work for and potentially the level of responsibility you’ll be willing to take on. A job that requires extensive travel and an always-on mindset may not be for you.

When I started thinking like this – and making choices accordingly – I was able to create a life with more space and time for the people and pastimes I love. Helping others do the same was an obvious next step for me.

It takes a village

The reality is that it took time to reshape my career, and many mentors and supporters helped me along the way. I also refined my career design model in many hours of work coaching clients through their own career decision-making. It took a village to build this model. And indeed, it takes a village to build a career.

That’s why I am opening the doors to The Bespoke Life Book Club, the next part of my growing community. Sparked by publication of my new book about intentional career design, the club is designed to support you as you work to bring more meaning to your own professional life. You’ll get special access to the tools from the book and the support you need to plan your career differently – so you get more of what matters to you out of your life, at work and beyond.

These are tools I wish I’d had 30 years ago, but I can tell you they were worth the wait. They got me to the place I’m in today, watching the faces of my clients light up as they realize they, too, have a choice.

Join us in the book club, and see just how many possibilities light up on your own horizon. 

Unlock your potential and align with what matters most to you. 

It’s that simple.

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